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Chris Chibnall has changed a lot about Doctor Who in his short time as showrunner, and it's enough for some fans to question whether this may be a new show entirely when it returns for Season 11. Apparently, that might be a good way to view it, as Chibnall revealed during a press event CinemaBlend attended at San Diego Comic-Con that fans shouldn't expect familiar elements in the upcoming episodes:
It's pretty much all new stories, all new monsters, all new villains. I think we've got two weeks left in filming and we haven't come across any old villains yet.
Chris Chibnall surprised many in the crowd with the statement, as a season of Doctor Who without past villains almost sounds unfathomable. Sure, not every season of the series has featured a Weeping Angel, or the same variation of the Cybermen, but who can think of the last time Doctor Who aired a Dalek free season? If Chibnall is planning on a season without the murderous robot alien race, it would be the first time they've been excluded from the series since the classic Doctor Who episodes, which is something fans will almost certainly feel strongly about. Chibnall likely knows that, which may be why he slyly said "yet," as if to say a classic villain may return by the time shooting for the season completes.
The move is bold, although it falls in line with Chris Chibnall's assumed agenda of giving the series an unofficial reboot. The showrunner has made it clear with his various decisions, and statements in the press conference, that he wants this season to not be appreciated by just fans of Doctor Who, but a new audience who wants to get into the show without getting bogged down by its history. New Doctor Jodie Whittaker echoed Chibnall's vision, and discussed the ease a newcomer will have getting into Season 11:
It's also what's exciting about it...This is gonna be for fans and Whovians...Season 11 is going to be for them. But it's also for for anyone who hasn't seen it, you won't need this encyclopedic knowledge or a history of Doctor Who to understand this journey.
Of course, whether or not Season 11 of Doctor Who is truly something that both hardcore Whovians and newcomers will appreciate remains to be seen, as the series returns to BBC America this fall. The American premiere will simulcast with the U.K. showing, so the world will surely have reached a verdict of some sort by the end of Episode 1. For a list of shows to watch until that fateful day, visit our summer premiere guide. For more on Doctor Who, check out what Jodie Whittaker had to say about her new costume and how it came to be right here.